But the Justice Dept. decided that the AT&T trial can wait, seen as a retaliatory move to further disrupt the merger, since AT&T pulled its application to the FCC to acquire the U.S. cellular arm of Deutsche Telekom.
Speaking today, AT&T said that it is "anxious" to bring the benefits it thinks it can bring to the U.S. consumer market. It also said it was "eager" to present its case in court.
The FCC said it had: "identified internal AT&T documents and consistent historical practices that contradict AT&T’s claim that merging with T-Mobile is essential for AT&T to build out its LTE network to 97 percent of Americans".
The Justice Dept. is giving AT&T time to stew in its own juices. It is in no rush to bring this to trial. The game of cat-and-mouse continues, but with the benefit of somewhat greater strategy.
By throwing mud into the ring, the FCC made this fight a lot more interesting. If the regulator says 'you lied', you had better come up with half-decent excuse. AT&T denied the claims, but when you're faced with a government department, one had to choose its words wisely.
But secondly, not wanting to be upstaged, the Justice Dept. took the chance to even out-do the FCC. It could be seen as the two authorities fighting over who gets left the carcass of the bloody remains of the AT&T and T-Mobile merger.